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Biographical Data :

Name :Germanus Gyula
Period :1884 - 1980
Biographical detail : A Hungarian writer who accepted Islam and was the only European member of the Academics of sciences in Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus.

While a student Gyula became interested in the Turkish period of Hungarian history, learned Turkish in Constantinople, learned Arabic under professor Ignac Goldziher, a great Hungarian scholar of Islamic learning. He also knew Persian, English and French, and in 1908 his research took him to London where he worked at the Oriental department of the British Museum for three years and on returning home was appointed professor of Turkish and Arabic language and Islamic history at the Hungarian Royal academy, in which post he worked till 1921.

In 1928 Tagore decided to set up a Chair of Islamic studies at Shantiniketan with the liberal donations made by Nizam of Hyderabad and invited Dr. Germanus to accept the Chair. He stayed at Shantiniketan University for several years. It was here that he accepted Islam and had the privilege of leading the Friday prayers and giving the sermons from the pulpit of Jama Masjid, Delhi.

King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia invited Gyula, and while there performed the Haj. He described his experience in two volumes work entitled Allah Akbar, which was published from Budapest in 1936. This work was translated into German, Italian and English. His monumental work entitled The History of Arabic Literature was published in 1952 and its revised edition in 1973. Gyula also authored Anthology of Arab Poets, Modern Movement in Islam etc.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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